October 30

Some more timely wisdom to chew over.

I would give nothing for that man’s religion whose very dog and cat are not the better for it. – Sir Rowland Hill

The Christian must be aware that he is moving towards a destination; and that the destination is not in this world. He must maintain a certain detachment from the things of this world; a chaste detachment; for where he is going cannot be here. Spectator and witness, perhaps actor in his turn, in some role for which he is or isn’t suited; bearing responsibilities to others in every single case. His suffering may be of more value than any achievement to which he may claim. He cannot vest his hopes in earthly things, knowing they will vanish. His finest possessions are not of this world, but from another: the phenomena of reciprocated love; of truth, goodness, and beauty apprehended, preciously kept in the purse of memory; of “news from a foreign country” received. This is all he will hold at the end of his journey, when his road through space and time lies behind him, and everything he once carried on his back has been used up, thrown or taken away, and even the old bag of his flesh is discarded. – David Warren, “Essays in Idleness”, 2014

Bishop Joseph Butler of Bristol in response to John Wesley’s conversion: “Enthusiasm, sir, is a horrid thing; a very horrid thing indeed.”

Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories. – Steven Wright

What strange math. There is nothing like the tally of a life. All of our accomplishments, ridiculous. All of our striving, unnecessary. Our lives are unfinished and unfinishable. We do too much, never enough and are done before we’ve even started. We can only pause for a minute, clutching our to-do lists, at the precipice of another bounded day. The ache for more — the desire for life itself — is the hardest truth of all. – Kate Bowler, “One Thing I Don’t Plan to Do Before I Die Is Make a Bucket List”, New York Times, 2021

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